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A Short History of Mornings by John Levett, Shoestring Press

John Levett’s poems present themselves in armatures of assertive rhyme and metre. To my taste, this can become oppressive, but Levett rhymes with great skill and verbal resource, and often to powerful effect. For example, in “Tourniquets”, commended in the 2005 National Poetry Competition, the way he weaves long, complex sentences through a demanding rhyme pattern powerfully builds and controls the imaginative pressure. Still more impressive in this way was “Five Barred Gate”, with its virtuoso handling of a complex metrical and stanzaic form. In “Salix Contorta” what the poet calls his “trellised song” is paralleled to the willow’s twisting … Continue Reading